Dead Space (opens in new tab) is a disturbing game. One of its most iconic moments is the discovery early on of the helpful hint, "Cut off their limbs (opens in new tab)," scrawled on the wall in blood. It's a famously violent, frightening gore fest from start to finish. But if you're not into that sort of thing, a new filter in the Dead Space remake will give you the option to blur out the worst of it.
"Motive recognized that some players may choose to avoid seeing certain types of content typical in horror and gore games," EA’s program lead for game accessibility Morgan Baker said in an update on Dead Space accessibility features (opens in new tab). "So the team wanted to explore potential ways to allow players to control how they view the game’s more graphic content."
This is accomplished through a pair of options in Dead Space: One that displays a "non-intrusive popup" message describing potentially disturbing content that's about to appear, and another that covers up the visuals of the scene entirely: "You’ll still hear any audio, but a blurring effect will hide the visuals until the scene has played out," Baker said.
It might seem like an odd feature to include in a game like Dead Space, which is all about being as disturbing as possible, but it's really no different than adding a story mode to a game so people who want the narrative experience without the mechanical headaches can enjoy it too. (And, for the record, the Dead Space remake has a story mode option.) And we're not talking about run-of-the-mill blood and gore here. Some players who enjoy stomping necromorphs into goo, for instance, might react badly to depictions of suicide. Others might want to just take a break from jump scares now and then.
This is what the content warning option looks like:
And this is the "hide disturbing scenes" option—notice how the doorway into the next room is greyed out:
Regardless of your reason, if you want to make use of the content filters you'll have to go into the accessibility menu to switch them on, because they'll be disabled by default. Exactly what content they'll tackle also isn't known, although lead senior experience designer Christian Cimon said it won't include "violence done to necromorphs."
"We’re mostly focusing on scenes involving intense violence against humans, strong psychological horror, or self-harm," Cimon said. "And of course, there’s a lot of subjectivity that comes into play when trying to evaluate what’s disturbing."
The Dead Space remake launched today, and it is very good: We gave it an excellent 84% in our review (opens in new tab), calling it "a new standard for the future of the survival horror series."